Today, A Few Words is pleased to present an excerpt from the book The Dragon Shield by author Dianne Lynn Gardner. Read on to find out more about this wonderful YA novel.
“And you say that when you got to the mountain, he was tied. But the scouts saw him run free. Why is that?” He turned to his son, flames in his eyes. “Why, Ian? Why did you let him go if you knew he had power over the dragon?”
What am I going to say? The kid cried and I felt sorry for him, because that’s what happened. “Dad…”
The air was unbearably stiff.
“Man,” Ian beat his fist on the table and stood. “Stop it, Dad. This isn’t right.”
I guess the whole Ian’s Realm Saga started from my secret desire to paint a dragon.
If I wrote a book about dragons, then I’d be forced to paint one eventually, wouldn’t I?
I threw the idea out to some of my grandchildren. They were immediately inspired!
So I thought I had better get busy before they get too far ahead of me. This is, after all, a story for them…from me.
So I went to the art supplier in Port Townsend. Our local suppliers don’t carry large canvas and I knew the dragon in this story was going to be big. I mean really big! Well, at least as big as my little Honda Fit can carry. Which turned out to be 36 X 48.
I’ve never painted a dragon before. I knew what I wanted him to look like, kind of. I bought a little plastic dragon sculpture thinking I could study how light might shine on a dragon…but it dropped off my table and the wings fell off before I had a chance to study the lights.
So I scrambled together some sketches, some photos of horses, a rhinoceros and any kind of wicked reptile I could find…lizards, gila monsters…and some excerpts from my story that describe the dragon. Slowly he emerged from the stormy skies.